The Decentralists – Hot Topix: X Marks The Spot

The U.S. Military has been buying the location data of smartphone users like you.

As we all know, personal data is extremely valuable. Many app vendors have realized that selling data to brokers like X-Mode is the quickest way to drive revenue (50,000 users guarantees an app developer $1,500 a month). One of X-Mode’s customers is—wait for it…

 the U.S. Military. X-Mode’s Software Development Kit (SDK) is embedded in over 400 apps—including a Muslim prayer app that has nearly 98 million active users.

Why is the U.S. Military spying on smartphone users?

Why aren’t app developers transparent about what happens to the user data they collect?

Are “free” apps costing us our freedom?

When we download free apps, we aren’t informed how we will be tracked—are free apps really “free”?